Finding an alternative to smoking is one of the most challenging journeys a person can take.
Finding The Right Alternative provides you with the information you need to find your inspiration, understand your options and make a decision that suits your lifestyle and maximises your chance of cessation success.
Smoking poses a staggering amount of risk to an individual. Some of which may seem obvious, however by exploring this guide you will discover how insidious the negatives can be, from greatly increased insurance premiums to significant loss of earnings, read on to understand just how impactful making the switch could be.
Understanding the Cost
Often the biggest source of inspiration for starting a quitting journey, the dangers of smoking are widely understood. Despite this many are surprised by the extent of the damage the habit can cause - not only to health but also to finances and even employability.
Smoking has a significant impact on your personal health and is the single biggest cause of preventable death in the UK, directly or indirectly ending 78,000 lives every year (equating to 200 deaths per day) according to the NHS.
The link between smoking and cancer is unavoidable, with 7 out of every 10 (70%) cases of lung cancer being caused by the habit.
The harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke are confirmed by the NHS to damage your heart and circulatory system which can lead to a number of conditions including Coronary Heart Disease (AKA: CHD, ischaemic heart disease, or coronary artery disease), Heart Attack (AKA myocardial infarction or MI) and Stroke.
Smoking damages the lungs over time which can massively impact their ability to function normally. This means you find movement and exercise challenging due to a reduced lung capacity, in-turn reducing the oxygen level within your blood which is vital for proper muscle and organ function and can also lead to chronic conditions such as Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis.
To discover more about the health impacts of smoking, access the full guide here.
Based on the current (2021) average UK cost of a packet of cigarettes (£9.91) over the course of 30 years, a smoker can foot a minimum bill of £54,750 for a lighter habit of 10 cigarettes per day. In cases of heavy use with a smoker consuming 40 cigarettes per day, the cost after 30 years would be £219,000.
Being identified as a smoker can have a negative impact on how certain organisations and services are made available to you.
Smoking in many cases can more than double the cost of your insurance premiums. The frequency of your habit is of no consequence to policy providers, they do not care if you smoke one per day or forty, if you have smoked at all in the last 12 months, you will be considered a smoker.
Many home insurers will increase the premium of anyone classed as a smoker. This is done to account for the significantly higher risk of domestic fire caused by occupying smokers, a well-known statistic in the public eye.
If faced with charges of dangerous or careless driving, smoking at the wheel will be deemed as an offence. If this is proven in court, you may face a fine in excess of £2000 and a mandatory three to nine points on your driving license.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) found that “smoking has a significant negative impact on individual earnings and employment prospects, with long-term smokers being 7.5% less likely to be employed than non-smokers and smokers earning, on average, 6.8% less than non-smokers. The cumulative impact of these effects across the UK amounts to £14.1bn lost in income to smokers every year.”
Learn more about the financial impact of smoking in the full guide.
The Right Alternative
There are many paths a smoker can take to achieve their quitting goals, and many tools to understand and use. Finding one that suits the needs of their lifestyle is vital to ensuring success.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
NRTs is a collective name given to some of the most widely recognised & historied smoking cessation methods available to those looking for an alternative way to deliver nicotine without the risks of smoking. Ultimately helping to reduce the effect of withdrawal symptoms and manage cravings. They include nicotine infused:
- Dermal Patches
- Chewing Gum
- Nasal Sprays
- Oral Strips
The effectiveness of any given NRT treatment can vary depending on a combination of factors. The products themselves come in varying nicotine strengths which you should take care to match to your needs, this alone could have a major impact on how effective the treatment will be for you personally – if you aren’t using a product with adequate dosing to suppress your cravings then relapse is far more likely.
Find out more about which NRT could be right for you here.
A relatively new and often misunderstood phenomenon in nicotine delivery, vaping has risen rapidly to become an accepted part of everyday life, with 2.7 million adult vapers in the UK alone.
Your lifestyle is a major factor in determining the best vaping device for your needs – those with an active routine involving regular travel may prefer smaller, more compact pod-style devices over some of the bulkier alternatives. Some of the most common device types include:
All-In-One (AIO): Also known as “pen style” devices are one of the most historied device types in vaping.
Pod: The most discreet and compact devices available today.
Mod: Larger, high-powered devices that can be combined with different tanks.
Pod-Mod: These devices combine the convenience of pod style devices with the power of a mod.
Vaping has been a controversial subject especially when being discussed as an alternative to smoking. Get answers to your questions as we separate fact from fiction in the full guide.